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Quest For Sanity / Watery Graves
(Vic Records)

HEXX are so to speak a very underrated American Heavy Metal Band which is actually a sad thing when checking out their catalogue and its quality. Coming from the Bay Area, but somehow never sounding like a Bay Area band, HEXX managed to create their own brand of high energy US Metal and later on turned towards a more technical Thrash (with hints of SADUS here and there) oriented style. Maybe that’s the reason why nobody cared about them and only put focus on the commercially more successful (and musically softer and more boring) Bay Area comrades, who knows? Anyways, Vic Records just did a compilation release that sums up the two very good post US Metal phase EP releases “Quest For Sanity” and “Watery Graves” (originally put out by my go to label Wild Rags Records). So first off is “Quest For Sanity” which has this spot on production and delivers five pieces of great American Thrash which sometimes crosses over into Death Metal as well. The musicianship is top notch, the songwriting as well and the overall feeling of this output really fits the season that’s about to approach (in order of you reading this review years later, I’m talking about the summer of 2018). While there’s mostly thought through guitar oriented stuff going on like in ‘Sardonicus’, it’s a banger like ‘Fields Of Death’ that keeps the dynamics flowing. Douchebags over at Metal Archives claim this is a 50% release? I bet those losers don’t even know how to switch on an amp! Next up is “Watery Graves” (yet another 50%er over at Poser-Archives) which comes forth with one new track and two “Under The Spell” re-recordings. ‘Watery Graves’, the new track, takes off where the material from “Quest For Sanity” left us while the two re-recordings simply blow the roof off. Especially ‘Edge Of Death’ is such a banger that I guess it doesn’t matter who records it and how. That song is simply 10/10 and crushes everything in its sight. This version here is even more powerful due to its more aggressive vocal delivery. Same goes with the excellent ‘Under The Spell’. Definitely a good idea to put those older songs through the meat grinder and hear what the rawer version of HEXX can make of it. So in order of you not having these two releases, make sure to grab yourself a copy and enjoy what a powerful force of pure Heavy Metal masculinity HEXX is. These releases are also the first to feature that great green improved logo that ranks among my top five band logos ever (worth a mention also is the massive booklet of this CD edition, which features the most entertaining and in-depth liner notes of guitarist Dan Watson I've ever read! This guy should definitely be forced to write a book about the early years of HEXX! - Frank). Go check it out via and / or

Marco Stebich

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